Year: 2011

타자연습

Thank goodness I learned touch typing back some ten years ago, otherwise high school and college would have been a very painful experience.  Much, in fact, like the experience I’m having typing in Korean right now. For the past year, I’ve been using the “soft” (i.e. onscreen) Korean keyboard that comes with the Microsoft Windows IME – so basically, using my mouse to input each Hangeul character.  It’s slow and unnecessarily abusive to my poor index finger.  My netbook, which runs Windows 7, doesn’t come with the soft keyboard so I finally have to face the harsh reality of learning how to type again.  This time, in Korean. A while back, I made my own Hangeul stickers and had them on my keyboard for a couple months before they all started to fall off.  That gave me a general idea of where all the characters are but unfortunately my speed and accuracy are nowhere near that of my English typing ability.  This clearly has to change or I’ll start to hate typing in Korean, which means …

Skype call in Korean

It’s been nearly two years since I first started learning Korean.  I’m not sure if I’ve spent this time effectively enough or if I even have anything to show for it – all I know is that I’ve enjoyed every single step I’ve taken to get to where I am today.  I’m really grateful for all my fellow bloggers and friends who’ve encouraged and helped me in every way.  Hope you are all having a very happy holiday season. This week, for the first time since I started learning Korean, I spoke in Korean to a Korean friend of mine through skype.  Usually, I’m pretty paranoid about giving out my contact information and/or talking to people I’ve just met over the internet but I had met this particular friend through me2day over the summer and we’d talked on and off.  He seemed quite nice!  He usually commented on all of my me2day posts, engaged me in conversation, and always offered to help me whenever I had questions about Korean.  I learned about 수능 through him as …

The Language Fossils Buried in Every Cell of Your Body

Just stopping by to say that I am very much alive and still learning Korean despite the horrors rigors of graduate school.  How is everyone doing? :) A couple months ago, I stumbled across this interesting article in Discover Magazine that I think is worth sharing: The Language Fossils Buried in Every Cell of Your Body (click to read the article). The article is about a certain gene known as FOXP2 which may, at least in part, be involved in the acquisition of language in humans.  As the article states: FOXP2 didn’t give us language all on its own. In our brains, it acts more like a foreman, handing out instructions to at least 84 target genes in the developing basal ganglia. Even this full crew of genes explains language only in part, because the ability to form words is just the beginning. Then comes the higher level of complexity: combining words according to rules of grammar to give them meaning. First of all, this is exciting.  I don’t care if you don’t like science but the idea that scientists …

엿듣기

Where O where has the time gone?  In the one-and-a-half months that I’ve been at Stanford, I have come to terms with the harsh reality that graduate school leaves you little to no time for hobbies.  BUT.  I refuse to let that be an excuse for my lack of Korean studying.  If you’re passionate enough about something, you will find time for it, no matter how busy you are. However, as per usual, I’ve reverted back to my lackadaisical methods of “studying” Korean – that is, by watching more things without subtitles, reading more primary material, and writing a bit here and there.  Lately, though, I’ve found a new way to improve my Korean listening skills – 엿듣기 (eavesdropping)! There are A LOT of Korean folks here at Stanford and, when I’m on the bus, I often catch a few words of Korean being spoken here and there.  So far, I’ve eavesdropped on conversations about wifi speed, moving to a different apartment, an internship at HP, home towns, and a couple other things.  I guess if these …

싱글벙글

It’s been a week since I’ve moved to California and (unsurprisingly) I haven’t had time to study Korean AT ALL.  We’ve been busy with three straight days of orientation from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and, in the meantime, I’ve been trying to adjust to living on my own for the first time ever.  This is a really emotionally and mentally stressful time for me for various reasons, but I’m still trying to go about doing things, 싱글벙글 웃으면서! 싱글벙글 is such a cute word, I can’t help but smile when I say it to myself – which is appropriate, considering that it means to do something “smilingly” or “with a broad smile.” Hope you’re all having a great day!

Transitions

As you can see, I changed my theme.  I love the simplicity and color palette of this theme much better than my last one (which honestly looked too cold).  The font size is a bit big and maybe there’s a way to change that but I’m too lazy and computer illiterate to figure it out.  At least it’s easy on the eyes?  Well, in any case, I think I’ll stick with this theme… at least for a few months or so. I guess this is a timely change because the new theme is accompanying the start of a new chapter in my life.  This Thursday I will be flying off to San Francisco, settling in my own little studio apartment, and embarking on graduate school life at Stanford.  Needless to say, I am incredibly nervous – but excited at the same time.  So many things are changing so quickly for me and, for a person who doesn’t handle change very easily and who prefers routine to adventure, things are going to be very tough for …

Audio Post #1

Jeannie’s audio post inspired me to make a recording of myself reading Korean as well.  In this recording, I’m reading a couple paragraphs from the first chapter of BIGBANG’s autobiography, 세상에 너를 소리 쳐, which is also the first Korean book I purchased.  (The narrator of this particular passage is G-Dragon.)  I do understand everything I’m reading but intonation and pronunciation are still quite difficult for me.  What do you guys think? ^^  I already know I mispronounced 흘러나오고 as 흘러너오고  >_<.

No more “mental translation”

If I’m being honest with myself, I haven’t really touched the Korean language books I bought back in April.  I do occasionally flip through them, but I can’t bring myself to take notes or work on the exercises.  I don’t know if it’s because I prefer the more dangerous route of context learning… that is, not really reading proper grammar explanations, but “inferring” them from reading and/or listening to A LOT of Korean.  The reason I consider this somewhat dangerous is that it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know how to use a certain phrase or grammar point, but in reality you’ve failed to grasp its subtleties and proper usage.  Until recently, I felt like my Korean progress stagnated because I haven’t touched my grammar books. But something has clearly changed in the past couple months. I find that my brain is starting to comprehend Korean better.  I’m not sure if I’m expressing this the right way but… well, before, when I was watching a drama, whenever I came across a phrase …

Fan Cafes

I feel like a bad student that needs to be punished.  Even though I’ve had this glorious four month summer vacation, I’ve completely forsaken serious Korean studying and have instead resorted to playing around in Daum fan cafes. Before I get into that, I just want say that I like K-pop, but honestly I knew nothing about the whole idol… industry – shall I call it? –  until a few months ago.  For me, music is music; in America, music is pretty much the only thing that musicians do.  The whole concept of “training” idols and “raising” them into stars and building their popularity through variety shows and CFs and such was really odd to me, but I think I understand it much better now.  I’ve also come to understand the concept of “fan cafes,” which seems to be yet another way to build support and popularity for a celebrity. Most celebrities, including idol groups, seem to have these official Daum fan cafes (fan clubs) where, if you register, you can write on various forums, …

Chrome Add-On: Pop-Up Dictionary (via Jeanne’s Korean Learning Journey)

This is seriously the best thing I’ve ever come across. Thank you so much, Jeanne!! Ever since my Japanese-learning friend bragged about pop-up dictionary Rikaichan or something, I’ve been looking around for something similar for Korean, in vain… Until now. Seriously, why didn’t anyone tell me about it? A free Chrome add-on (though I’m pretty sure that other browsers have it too) allows you to double-click on a Korean word and have its dictionary entry opened right away, in a little pop-up window. Easy-peasy, and you’re not ev … Read More via Jeanne’s Korean Learning Journey